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Older parents - Is it fair on the child?

(80 Posts)
cakemonster Wed 20-Aug-08 10:35:06

Had a BFP a couple of weeks ago which came as a huge shock as I thought to be infertile and never acheived a 'natural' pregnancy with my ex altho' have had an IVF pregnancy which resulted in twin dd's 7 years ago. Now with new DP and lo and behold am pregnant. Big dilema I am now 40 and my DP 54 so apart from all the natural concerns about health issues and having a child at my age, is it fair for the child to have such 'aged' prents, despite being young at heart! Any experiences shared will be appreciated.

LaDiDaDi Wed 20-Aug-08 10:37:55


Go for it, I bet you won't be the oldest at the school gates smile.

MrsTittleMouse Wed 20-Aug-08 10:37:58

I know a lot of "older" parents and their children are just fine, honest. 40 really isn't that old to have a child.

RustyBear Wed 20-Aug-08 10:40:53

My dad was 46 when I was born - it's never seemed a problem (but then my mum was a lot younger.)

I do remember one day suddenly realising that he was a lot older than most of my friends' dads & being upset at the thought that he'd probably die when I was still young. In fact, he's now 98 & still going strong, whereas my mum died 8 years ago aged 73 sad

catweazle Wed 20-Aug-08 10:41:13

I had my DD last year when I was 43. DH was 45. He gets a bit bothered that when she goes to school people will think he's her grandad but so what? It is getting more common to have babies at 40+ so they won't be the only ones in the class.

ranting Wed 20-Aug-08 10:43:43

There are no guarantees in life, whatever age you have children so I think you're worrying unnecessarily. And you won't be the oldest one there, honestly.


abouteve Wed 20-Aug-08 10:48:31

My mum was 43 when she had me and dad was 44. She was very young at heart so her age, when I realised didn't bother me, except the worry of how long I would have her around. Dad was older in this ways and I remember feeling embarrased that he look like my grandad.

40 isn't too old to have a baby. Your partner will be retiring by the time the child is 10 but provided you can cope financially then that's fine.

WilfSell Wed 20-Aug-08 10:50:36

40 is normal birthing age for many middle class women these days, though it is starting to move younger again. I had DS3 last year at 40 and DH is 44

I think if you and your DH commit to keep fit, make sure you've got some life insurance grin and don't have too many commitments to ageing parents (that is assuming they're alive and well) then it will be a doddle.

sarah293 Wed 20-Aug-08 10:54:07

Message withdrawn

TheCrackFox Wed 20-Aug-08 11:05:51

So long as you look after your health it is irrelevant how old you are.

cakemonster Wed 20-Aug-08 11:07:59

Thanks for all your positive messages. Basically if the child is loved (which it would be) and feels secure stuff convention!

trefusis Wed 20-Aug-08 11:24:05

Message withdrawn

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Wed 20-Aug-08 11:37:40

my dh had older parents and he has always vowed that he will never be an old dad. but the things he compains of are also things that can be avoided. his mum and dad were old for thier age and he felt he missed out things like them playing with him in the park. they didnt understand him as much as his friends parents did, i.e. the music scene etc and he couldnt just 'go down the pub with his dad' like his friends did as his dad was much older. like trefusis parents' it seems to me as if they were very much set in their ways.

otoh my nan brought me up as much as my mum did and she was a young fun nan <she will have been in her fourties when i came along> she did take to me to the park, on holidays, show an interest in what i was watching, listening to etc. my mum is now also great with her gc's and very young and active with them <she is 47> so is my dad at 58 they take my dd's camping regularly and my dad is always willing to play silly games.

so long as you keep yourself fit and active, which with 7 y o twins you dont have much of a choice to do otherwise. you will be fine.

congrats and like others say its common to have children later in life now.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Wed 20-Aug-08 11:42:02

oh and about helping out when you are older with gc's ill repeat keep yourself fit and active and it will be fine. mil is younger than my gp's but is very old whereas my dd loves going to the park and playing 'footyball' with her greatgrandad who had his 70th birthday last week. infact at his birthday we all went out for a meal and my grandad spent most of his time in the beer garden helping dd2 on the bouncy castle.

basically if you keep active and dont let yourself 'get old' like mil has you will stay younger and things will be the same for your new baby as all her friends <who will probably have older parents anyway>

Katisha Wed 20-Aug-08 11:46:24

Stay young in attutude - having a young child will help you there.

I was 41 when I had DS2 - hardly out of the ordinary.

The press make a bit deal about older parents every now and then, and I always want to say which is better - for the child to be born and have older parents, or not to be born at all? It's so illogical.

And your age at the school gates is nobody's business unless you want to tell them.

Mummyfor3 Wed 20-Aug-08 11:48:37

Congratulations from me also!

I just had DS3 when I was almost 42 (whispers: and am considering No4 blush). I had my 1st DC aged 37 - not entirely by choice this late in life, but that is how it worked out.

I agree with other posters: it is not so much about a number, but about attitude. Granted, biology is what it is and there are some higher risks for older mum and their children, but that should not stop you going fot it.

CrushWithEyeliner Wed 20-Aug-08 11:51:24

trefusis - are you me? I was in EXACTLY the same situation as you.
I don't think this has anything to to with age per se but it is your attitude towards parenting and weather you are "young at heart" as another poster said that matters. Best of luck x

Elibean Wed 20-Aug-08 18:38:26

Goodness, 40 is'nt old! I agree it depends on attitude, genes, decisions about parenting, and probably luck. My grandmother is 101 (and has only had a carer the past year and a half) and my mother, just turned, 80, travels every month to Paris to look after her for a couple of weeks. My father is 82 and travels all the time, and until recent brush with prostate cancer (now apparently gone) could outclimb, and outswim, me.

I had dd1 at 43, and dd2 at, I didn't want to have kids at this age, I'd have loved them younger, but it didnt' happen in spite of all attempts. OTOH, we have more time and energy to spend on the dds than we would have had ten years ago, and don't regret a thing - time will tell if they mind or not!

We've got some grown up nephews and neices who provide young adult company for our LOs, and equally we have some young ones so there are same age cousins. The dds have godparents (of the non-religious variety) so there are plenty of trusted, loving, responsible adults around should the worst happen to me and/or dh. And I will book us into a retirement home well in advance of need so the dds needn't feel burdened....wink

Podrick Wed 20-Aug-08 18:43:43

My Dad was in his mid 40's - he could not have been a better father and is still going strong in his 80's now.

He ADORED having kids!

AbbeyA Wed 20-Aug-08 19:27:10

It is very common these days-you will not be the oldest at the school gates. Age is an attitude of mind-some people are middle aged at 20!
You have no idea what will happen in the future. My father was 28 when I was born and my FIL was 46 when DH was born. Sadly my father died before he saw me married and never saw his grandchildren. FIL was the hale and healthy one!

CalmCalmCalm Thu 21-Aug-08 14:00:26

Congratulations! My dad was 56 and my mum 35 when I was born, and I gave birth to DD2 in Feb this year, just before my 40th birthday.

I was a bit self-conscious about my dad's age growing up but the upside was that he spent much more time with me as he retired when I was about 6. Sadly, I did lose him early (I was 17) and dearly wish he'd lived to see my children, but this was 20-odd years ago and I think he probably would have lived a few more years with the medical treatments we have now.

As many have said, older parents are much more common now (most of my post-natal group friends are a few years either side of 40), so no issues there. Also, people don't age the same way now - we're not settling into middle- and old-age with the same resignation. Thank goodness!

Good luck!

halogen Thu 21-Aug-08 14:03:30

My mum had her last baby at 46. I'm 39 and trying to have my second. I think you'll be just fine. And congratulations!

beanieb Thu 21-Aug-08 14:05:01

I do hope there's nothing wrong with being an 'older' mum. I am trying for my first at 38!

Maybe we should stop these women who have 12 kids at about kid no 3, so that their younger children don't suffer!

GentleOtter Thu 21-Aug-08 14:09:42

My Dh is 50 and I had our baby when I was 47.
Yes, we are kept on our toes now that ds is toddling but it is lovely having a late baby. smile
Some days you feel like a teenager and other days like you are 97.

Earlybird Thu 21-Aug-08 14:34:44

Congratulations on your pregnancy.

Based on the responses here, perhaps I am alone in thinking you've asked a very odd question. I can understand if you're stunned and looking for reassurance, but to ask if it is 'fair' on the child? shock

Is it 'fair' for a child to be born to a very young woman with little life experience? 'Fair' to be born into a family that is not economically secure? 'Fair' to be born into a single parent family, a family with gay parents, a family with disabilities? There are all sorts of families in the world with all sorts of situations - and I can assure you, children thrive in many different situations that vary from the 'norm'.

I feel inordinately irritated and insulted by your question. Perhaps it is because I am an older parent.

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